Oliver Perez isn't concerned about a rough outing in his last spring training game.


Oliver Perez isn't concerned about a rough outing in his last spring training game.

The New York Mets, however, will be keeping a close eye on him as the season starts next week.
The St. Louis Cardinals ripped three home runs off Perez in Tuesday's 9-4 win over the Mets, and the left-hander lasted 2 1-3 innings.

Perez, who is coming back from Sept. 1 knee surgery, surrendered seven runs, six hits and two walks, while fanning three.

"The goal in spring training is getting ready for the season," Perez said. "My point was not to feel anything in my knee and get stronger every time and be able to use all my pitches. I feel good with that. The results today weren't not the way a lot of people want, but those things can happen. I am ready to go."

Perez's struggles began early.

Ryan Ludwick hit a two-run homer in the first inning, and Matt Holliday immediately followed with the first of two homers on the day.

Brendan Ryan added a two-run shot over the left-field wall in the second inning, and Perez walked two straight batters in the third before getting pulled with one out.

Mets manager Jerry Manuel said Perez, who is 0-1 with an 8.66 ERA this spring, might be going through a dead-arm period, and it wouldn't be fair to say he is on a short leash based on results that don't count.